So I was sitting here, pondering on a post to write about this article. I had plans to gently chide our British friends, reminding them that, as Jeremy Clarkson once put it, "We don't live in a free country". He was talking about lighting a cigarette in a car at the time, but the humorous observation still stands.
Sadly, while collecting my thoughts and perusing the rest of the news, I came across this article, a follow up to the original article. I then sought out the original video so as to see what was recorded, since video evidence is hard to refute. That video is, well, disappointing as evidence. If that was the basis of the victim's entire evidence, I could see why the case would be dismissed. However, I have read in several different articles that the police officer who took the report testified that the defendant admitted on the night of the incident that he did, in fact, lay hands upon the victim. If this is the case, and the officer testified to this in court, then we now have a case for harassment or even assault.
However, my real issue is not with the dismissal. My issue is with the tirade that the judge took upon himself to subject the victim to in court. The judge is a long standing member of the military reserves and has spent time on other countries, several of those years in Iraq. For that we thank you sir. Your service is appreciated and a shining example of service to the defense of our country.
Unfortunately for your court ruling, we are in the United States of America, not Iraq. Freedom of speech is first and foremost here, even if the person speaking is an ass. If we apply your level of legal interpretation here, I would be free to go rough up Fred Phelps clan at their next protest in your state and walk away scott free because they offended my culture. I own two copies of the Koran (and three Bibles and a Torah) and I still don't agree with your tirade from the bench. Yes, I have listened to the audio. Having listened to that, I suggest that you take a vacation from the bench, or just retire, since it is obvious that your understanding of the job has been clouded by your personal experiences. You are not impartial, as a judge should be, and you did not take the same amount of time or effort to remind the defendant that he is in America, where religious freedom applies to everyone and all religions, not just his religion. Your decision should have just recorded that there was not enough evidence to find the defendant guilty, nothing more. Everything else you stated was opinion, and those are like armpits - Everyone has them and they all stink.
So, unfortunately, I cannot sit here and make fun of the place where Great Britain used to be. Apparently, we have slid into the same hole.
Five men injured in Homerton shootingFive men have suffered gunshot wounds during a shooting in east London. Police officers had been called to Homerton High Street to reports of gunfire in the early hours. The ambulance service attended but no-one was found. Later, five men went to two separate hospitals and have been treated for minor gunshot injuries.
A police spokesman said there had been no arrests and appealed for anyone with any information about the shooting to come forward.